05/12/2017 - Joseph Eugene White Hawk
Funeral services for Joseph Eugene White Hawk “He Sani Luta,” age 90, will be at 9:00 AM on Friday, May 12, 2017 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church Hall in Manderson, SD with Father Christopher Johnson, S.J., Father Edmund Yainao, S.J., Marei Kingi and Jeff Not Help Him officiating. Traditional Lakota services will be provided by Francis “Chubbs” Thunder Hawk and Floyd Running Hawk.
Burial will be at 1:30 PM on Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD.
A two-night wake service will begin at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church Hall in Manderson, SD with rosary services at 7:00 PM on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church Hall in Manderson, SD.
Eugene, as he was known, was a veteran in the U.S. Army. He passed away on May 3, 2017 in Sturgis, SD. He was born to Jessie Mary Kills Enemy and Clarence Joseph White Hawk Standing Bear on February 21, 1927 north of Manderson, #10 or Spotted Owl Community. He was born in a tipi near St. Phillips Episcopal Church.
Eugene’s paternal grandparents were Luke White Hawk and Mattie Bissonette, and his maternal grandparents were Charles Kills Enemy and Rose Half Rope. Eugene’s siblings were Ernest Mervin, Leo Ramsey, Vivina, Roselyn Agnes, and Leona Agatha White Hawk. Eugene had seven other siblings who died in infancy.
Eugene joined the United States Army Air Force in 1945 at 18 years of age and was honorably discharged in 1947, holding the rank of Staff Sgt. E-5. He entered at Shepard Field, TX and Ft. Riley, KS, where he completed his basic training. He was sent overseas on duty in Australia, PhilippianIsland, and Okinawa, Japan. Eugene was a lifelong member of Post 302 in Manderson, SD and Post 294 of Porcupine, SD.
Eugene met Bernice Alice Eagle Hawk at a local rodeo and later they were married on April 18, 1950 at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Manderson, SD. They had just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary and Eugene’s 90th birthday at St. Agnes Catholic Church hall. With this union, six children were born: Ardegene, Martyna, Vevina, Eugenio, Raymond (deceased), and Inez. During his military service in Ft. Riley, KS, Leatrice, his oldest daughter, was born and raised on the Potawatami reservation in Kansas. Leatrice married Ramon Noriega and they have two sons. Eugene has a daughter, Yvette White Hawk Van Namee (deceased), and she had two children. During his marriage, he gained five hunka sons: Tom Cook, Sam Spencer, Francis “Chubbs” Thunder Hawk, Marei Kingi, and Bruce Whalen.
During the late 50s, Eugene worked two jobs as a carpenter with Buckingham Lumber in Rapid City and Ellsworth Air Force base as a roofer. He also worked at many different labor jobs in other states along with his wife, Bernice. He worked as a Firefighter, Tree Planter, Gardener, Ranch Worker, and Hide Tanner in Nebraska between 1954 and 1966. Eugene, along with other local family and friends, took part in movies as extras, including “Tomahawk, Stagecoach” and other movies.
In his youth and adult life, he worked with horses. He took part in many local rodeo events and his last bareback bronc ride took place during Days of 76 at Deadwood, SD in the late 60s. Between 1960 and 1965, Eugene was an original Grass Dancer. Eugene and Bernice took part dancing at local pow wows.
Starting in 1961 through 1971, Eugene sundanced with the Arapaho Tribe for two years and the Shoshoni Tribe for five years. He also sundanced at Crow Dog’s Paradise and Green Grass. His commitment and preparation for these sundances were a sign of his strength and dedication to his spiritual beliefs.
During the time he took part in these ceremonies, he gained many lifelong friends and family through adoptions in the Arapaho and Shoshoni Tribes. Eugene’s daughter, Ardegene, met and married an Arapaho man. They had four children through that marriage. That’s where Eugene gained four Arapaho grandchildren, and later on, Eugene gained two extra granddaughters from Ardegene.
In 1973, his third daughter, Martyna, met and married a Cheyenne man, where seven Cheyenne grandchildren were born. Prior to this marriage, a son was born, totaling 8 grandchildren. Eugene was instrumental in helping raise his grandson, Burt Kaline (deceased) who later enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was so proud of his grandson’s accomplishment. In 1975, Eugene’s fourth daughter, Vevina, married a Lakota man, and three boys were born from their marriage. Three more boys were born from a second union. Eugene gained seven more grandchildren.
In 1980, Eugene’s oldest son, Eugenio, met and married a Lakota woman. From this union, six grandchildren were born. Raymond, his second son, was single and had no children. Ray was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army National Guard. Eugene’s youngest daughter, Inez, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where she met her husband and had three children. Inez and her husband were honorably discharged from the military.
During the 60s, Eugene and Bernice took part in the BIA Relocation Act, where families are sent to a city to learn a trade, raise their family, and be self-sufficient. In 1966, Eugene was sent to Dallas, TX to learn a trade in Welding, which he completed. In 1967, he relocated with his family to Los Angeles, CA, where he was employed. Eugene wanted to be close to his brother Leo and sister Leona, so he moved to Chicago, IL. This is where their youngest daughter, Inez, was born.
During the early 70s Eugene was elected as Wounded Knee District Chairman, and later was elected as OST Inter-District Chairman. Eugene was involved with the Great Sioux Nation Treaty Council as a Headman from 1973 – Present. Eugene worked closely with the Late Chief Frank Fools Crow, his uncle, Frank Kills Enemy, Matthew King, Larry Red Shirt, Louie Bad Wound, Dave Flying Hawk, Frank Starr, Edwin Fills The Pipe, Birgil Kills Straight, Dave Long, Vern Long, Milo Yellow Hair, and Francis He Crow. Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization 1970 – 1975. Veteran of 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation, prior to the occupation he was at the Custer County Court House Riot.
He accompanied the treaty delegation to Washington, DC to negotiate the end of the 71 day occupation of Wounded Knee. Eugene traveled with the Lakota Treaty Council delegation to WashingtonDC in 1975 to meet with President Ford on treaty issues and the Black Hills. Eugene also made a trip with the delegation to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He was a member of the OST Council of Elders for Wounded Knee District and Grass Roots Lakota Oyate.
Eugene was employed with the Oglala Sioux Tribe from 1960 to 1986. He was a Natural Resource Coordinator from 1960 to 1973. From 1990 to 1993, Eugene was employed with the Wounded KneeDistrictSchool as a Lakota Language & Culture Consultant. Eugene’s lifelong hobby was making head roaches and was hired as a consultant at Haskell Indian Jr.College in Lawrence, KS in 1976. Along with head roaches, he also made dance regalia for grandchildren.
Eugene was very proud of his children and grandchildren who participated in the powwow circuit, rodeo circuit, horseracing as jockeys, horseback archery, traditional horseback games, and professional Indian Horse Relay Races. He was a proud and strong supporter of the Chief Big Foot Memorial Ride, which he rode in 1990 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the massacre in Wounded Knee 1890. He supported the Little Big Horn Sobriety Ride in Montana, the Crazy Horse Ride during the Veteran’s Powwow in Pine Ridge, and the annual sobriety ride during the Oglala Nation powwow and fair.
Eugene was very proud and supportive of his children and grandchildren who work as Police Officers and Dispatchers in the Law Enforcement field. He was very proud of his son who worked for 28 years and held positions as Criminal Investigator, Drug Enforcement Officer, and the OSTDPS Chief of Police.
Throughout Eugene’s life, he gained a total of 8 children, 33 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, 2 children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD is in charge of arrangements for Joseph Eugene White Hawk.
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